Stress is always something that adults in the U.S. battle, but this election season, the stress levels of people here in New York City and across the country have skyrocketed. As we get closer to November 8th, the intensity of this election stress grows.
In fact, election-related stress has become such a problem in 2016 that the American Psychological Association has categorized the problem as election stress disorder–something 52% of American adults report experiencing. If you’re like me, you are looking forward to the relief of having our next president decided.
Treating the Physical Damage Caused by Stress
chiropractic treatmentAfter all, stress isn’t just mental. It’s physical. When we’re stressed, the stress hormone cortisol raises our heart rate, elevates our blood pressure, and even tenses muscles. Every bodily function is affected. Over time, this does significant damage to the body. In fact, the toll of stress is so severe that 75%-90% of all doctors visits can be traced back to stress-related disorders and conditions. When everyday stress is made worse by external stressors like the 24-hour barrage of election news, it’s no surprise that the body experiences even more stress-related symptoms.
All of this additional stress is making my patients come in to see me more often, which does not surprise me. Chiropractic care is proven to help relieve stress. There is a cathartic release provided through physical manipulation that millions of people depend on for stress relief. In addition, specialized chiropractic certifications, such as Active Release Technique, allow me to more effectively combat the physical manifestations of stress. Our bodies hold onto stress in the form of muscle tension, making it difficult to fully relax. Active Release Technique manually relieves this tension, as well as adhesions and related damage. If you have not been to a chiropractor this election season, I suggest you make an appointment today to eliminate some of this stress.
Three Simple Stress Relief Solutions
Still, in the remaining few weeks of this election season, chiropractic treatment is unlikely to be enough to deal with ever-increasing stress levels, especially as we move closer to the holiday season. That’s why I want to teach you three simple stress relief tricks I teach my patients to use in addition to weekly chiropractic adjustments and active release therapy.
1. Meditate daily.
It may seem overly simple, but ten minutes of meditation a day can make a huge difference in how well you manage stress. Meditation is no longer considered simply a folk remedy. There is plenty of scientific evidence to back up this wisdom. In fact, a comprehensive study done at Boston University revealed that daily meditation can legitimately treat not just anxiety, stress, and depression, but also cancer and a wide variety of other psychiatric and medical conditions. The researchers themselves reported that the findings were so starkly obvious in the data that they overcame even their own skepticism regarding meditation.
Meditation delivers results fast, too. After just a few days of meditation to start the day, you will be able to experience both mental and physical relief. Stress will be much easier to deal with before and after the election, regardless of how you feel about the results, sleep, stress relief.
2. Sleep an extra hour.
If you’re as busy as most New Yorkers, a suggestion to sleep more may seem to be a source of additional stress, not a solution, but just a single additional hour of sleep a night increases your tolerance of serious external stressors significantly. Instead of watching the news or reading more angry social media posts, sacrifice a little to get in be earlier. You’ll feel less stressed–and happier and more productive too.
3. Get out in nature.
If you are like me, you spend most of your time inside an office, at home, or in a crowded city. While this may be a necessary part of modern life, you still need to take time out of your day to experience nature. Go to a park, head to the mountains over the weekend, or simply walk your dog under some trees, but make an effort to be outside breathing fresh air. Even just five minutes surrounded by nature can help relieve the harmful effects of stress and increase parasympathetic nerve activity —a state within the brain associated with deep relaxation.
Just make sure to experience nature to the fullest. It won’t do you any good if you spend the entire time reading stressful content on your phone!
Eliminate Your Election Stress
This time of year, it’s easy to feel as though we have no control over our lives or that the stress is impossible to manage, but using the right stress relief techniques can make all the difference in the world. Do these three things carefully, and you may find that your election stress is at least a bit easier to manage. Make sure to see a chiropractor for the physical care you need, too, before it does long term damage. Our offices are always available to take new patients if you are near Manhattan or we are happy to help you find a chiropractor near you. Just make your wellness a priority both before and after election day passes.